poetry

But what about Wordsworth?

“…Schizophrenic poetry
Tends to be loose, disjointed, uncritical of itself, in some ways
Like what is best in our modern practice of the poetic art
But unlike it in others, in its lack of concern
For intensity and nuance. A few great poems
By poets supposed to be “mad” are of course known to us all,
Such as those of Christopher Smart, but I wonder how crazy they were,
These poets who wrote such contraptions of exigent art?
As for Blake’s being “crazy,” that seems to me very unlikely.
But what about Wordsworth? Not crazy, I mean, but what about his later work, boring
To the point of inanity, almost, and the destructive “corrections” he made
To his Prelude, as it nosed along, through the shallows of art?
He was really terrible after he wrote the “Ode:
Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood,” for the most part,
Or so it seems to me. Walt Whitman’s “corrections,” too, of the Leaves of Grass,
And especially “Song of Myself,” are almost always terrible. ”

– Kenneth Koch, The Art of Poetry, continued

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